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Study: Needlestick injuries still a major concern
A new study from Inviro Medical, an Atlanta-based maker of needlestick prevention devices, reveals that needlestick injuries affect the vast majority of nurses, and nearly half (47%) said they had been stuck by a contaminated needle. In addition, an overwhelming majority of infection control professionals and nurses believe current safety syringe designs need improving.
The 2006 Study of Needlestick Injuries and Safety Devices is an independent nationwide study of directors of infection control and nurses. The national study included two survey instruments. The first included responses from 147 directors of infection control, and the second survey consisted of responses from 188 nurses. Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, the Atlanta consulting firm that completed the study for Inviro Medical, says it is the first comprehensive survey of health care workers on this topic since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act became law in 2000.
Most nurses have been stuck
The study showed the majority of U.S. nurses (64%) had been accidentally stuck by a needle while working; nearly half (47%) of all nurses surveyed reported being accidentally stuck by a contaminated needle.
When asked if there was room for improvement in the design of current safety syringes, an overwhelming majority of infection control directors and nurses said yes (97% and 96%, respectively). Illustrating this belief, 70% of infection control professionals and 65% of nurses thought that safety syringes with retrofitted designs, which today account for 95% of the market, were not the most effective design to protect clinicians. Retrofitted safety syringes refer to nonsafety syringe designs that have been modified with an added shield, sheath, or cap to meet industry safety regulations. Inviro Medical makes a device with integrated safety features.
Gareth Clarke, CEO of Inviro Medical, notes that the study also found the overwhelming majority of infection control directors and nurses worry about accidental needlesticks. In fact, 82% of infection control directors believe needlesticks remain a significant hazard, and even more nurses (88%) cite them as a serious hazard.
The majority of infection control directors and nurses believe needlestick injuries are under-reported (63% and 86% respectively), according to the survey. However, the two groups differ on the reasons why. Forty-five percent of infection control directors said the main reason is because clinicians are too busy to report them; 27% said the follow-up time takes too long; 11% believe clinicians may be afraid of workplace consequences associated with reporting needlesticks. Nurses, on the other hand, are more likely than infection control directors to cite a concern for workplace consequences (23%) as the reason they believe needlestick injuries are underreported. (Results of the study can be downloaded at: www.inviromedical.com. Select the pull-down menu from "About Us" on the home page, and then "2006 Needlestick Study.")
For more information the 2006 needlestick survey, contact: